When Do ‘Preferences’ for Housing Programs Amount to Discrimination?

Many communities have affordable housing programs designed especially for older people on fixed incomes. The idea is to allow them to maintain a good quality of life in a safe, welcoming environment. But what if you have to be a resident of the community to qualify for affordable housing – and the community happens to be 85 percent white? Does that amount to discrimination based on race? >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter Yes, the U.S. Justice Department argues …

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Post by Melissa Stanton, AARP: AARP research consistently finds that older adults (for the purposes of the survey that’s age 45-plus) want to stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible. >> Sign up for the AARP Livable Communities Newsletter That can be done by staying put and “aging in place,” which may require making some design or decorating adjustments to your home, and by living in an “age-friendly community,” which is a city, town or neighborhood …

Encore! The Highest Honor for Veterans

What timing for Veterans Day! Winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize, for people 60+ who are making a difference in others’ lives by combining their personal experience and passion, were announced this week. Two of these annual prizes, awarded by the nonprofit “second act” organization Encore.org, went to people working with vets. This year’s social entrepreneurs could be a resource for readers. If nothing else, their efforts will blow you away. Vicki Thomas: A career public relations and marketing executive in Connecticut, …

Good News for Couples with Reverse Mortgages

You probably know that AARP represents the interests of older Americans. But did you know that it’s actually out there in court, making sure that the rights of people 50+ are not violated? This week, two plaintiffs represented by the AARP Foundation Litigation won their case against the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A federal trial court in Washington, D.C., ruled that HUD violated federal law when it did not protect surviving spouses of holders of reverse mortgages. Let’s …

Try On These Clothing Storage Tips

Funny, I don’t recall that sweater being monogrammed. That’s what I thought last fall when I unpacked a box of cold-weather clothing that I’d stowed away in the attic the previous spring.  Sure enough, my favorite blue sweater wasn’t monogrammed, though moths had done a pretty good job of carving out something that looked like my initials. Improperly storing clothing between seasons can actually be tougher on garments than daily wear and tear. And since the average American household spends about …

A New Voice for Homeowners?

Washington hears from interest groups that represent everything from medical specialties to cattlemen to professional wrestlers. Now there’s an organization for one of the largest constituencies in the country: homeowners. The current homeownership rate in the United States is 65 percent (down from a high of more than 69 percent in 2004), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. America’s Homeowner Alliance (AHA) is the brainchild of Phil Bracken, a former executive of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and now the chief …